PLYMOUTH, N.H. - Junior Ryan Lambert (Derry, N.H./Pinkerton) and senior Mike Chergey (Bow, N.H.) combined for 49 points Thursday evening as Plymouth State University held off Salem State College in overtime, 85-80, in an exciting non-conference men's basketball game at Foley Gymnasium.
Lambert lit up the nets for a career-high 29 points, scoring more than half of his points at the free throw line with a 15-of-18 performance. Chergey made 10-of-15 shots from the floor to contribute 20 points as the Panthers improved to 4-1 on the season. Senior Bill Stowell (Stratham, N.H./Exeter) came off the bench to score eight points and collect a game-high 10 rebounds.
The Vikings used a balanced offensive attack with five players scoring in double figures, led by sophomore Dan Clark (Deerfield, Mass.) and junior Nick Linear (Salem, Mass.) with 13 points apiece. The scrappy Vikings remain winless through five games this season.
After several lead changes in the opening six minutes of the game, PSU took the lead and held it through the rest of the half, holding a nine-point margin at the break (39-30). The Panthers never got the lead to double digits, and Salem State came back to take the lead at 48-46 with 12 minutes remaining in the second half.
The Vikings held the advantage until PSU tied it at 66-66 with less than four minutes on the clock. The visitors were up by five (72-67) with two minutes to play, only to see the Panthers rally to take a two-point lead (76-74) with less than 10 seconds remaining. Salem State forced the extra session when freshman Nate Simpson (Lowell, Mass.) laid in a put-back as the buzzer sounded, tying the game at 76-all.
PSU outscored the Vikings 9-4 in overtime, with Lambert scoring seven of the nine Panther points, five at the free throw line.
Plymouth State opens Little East Conference play this Saturday with a 3:00 p.m. contest at Foley Gymnasium against defending LEC Tournament champion and pre-season favorite University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. Salem State plays in the New England Classic this weekend at Tufts University in Medford, Mass., facing Brandeis Saturday at 5:00 p.m. and Babson Sunday at 7:00 p.m.
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